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The conversion of horror - HP Lovecraft and the puritan conversion narrative
2001 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The Puritans were English Christians without a country who eventually ended up in New England, America. Here they were supposed to bring into being the land of God, the Promised Land, but things did not work out like that at all. Instead the Promised Land turned out to be a disappointing experience leaving the Puritans unsure of whether they really had been H.P. Lovecraft is often deemed as a writer of a somewhat lowbrow quality and is seldom mentioned when contemporary fiction is the topic of discussion. Eventhough he´s been dead since 1937 he is yet to be regarded as a writer of good quality. My intention with this essay is to discern what qualities there is in his writings that make him stand out as a writer. Admittedly he has been known to copy and use themes created by other authors although he was the first to admit it. Instead of focusing on what he has borrowed from other writers I will look to the beginnings on the American literary tradition, the Puritan literary tradition, to what he has inherited from this tradition._x000B_bestowed with God´s grace. This gave rise to the Puritan Conversion narrative, a narrative in which the Puritan was supposed to profess their faith. However, the experience of New England made the narrative filled with doubt, selfloathing and feelings of desperation. It is this kind of narrative I will juxtapose with the style of Lovecraft to see how the Puritan Conversion Narrative has influenced his style. The reason for choosing this viewpoint is that Lovecraft himself lived in New England and situates all his stories there. He also writes about man´s experiences of god although Lovecraft´s god is nothing short of monstrous._x000B_In my comparison between Lovecrafts stories and the Puritan Conversion Narrative there are similarities regarding both form and content. Regarding form both are mostly in the form of a confession-like diary. Another similarity is the problem with accurate expressions when it comes to describing the experience of God. When it comes to content Lovecraft and Puritan Conversion Narrative share the fear of God, a problematic relationship with ones forefathers and the notion of New England as a corrupting force. These are just some of the things I discover in the essay and I think this shows that there is more to Lovecraft´s writing than most people think.

Abstract [en]

The Puritans were English Christians without a country who eventually ended up in New England, America. Here they were supposed to bring into being the land of God, the Promised Land, but things did not work out like that at all. Instead the Promised Land turned out to be a disappointing experience leaving the Puritans unsure of whether they really had been H.P. Lovecraft is often deemed as a writer of a somewhat lowbrow quality and is seldom mentioned when contemporary fiction is the topic of discussion. Eventhough he´s been dead since 1937 he is yet to be regarded as a writer of good quality. My intention with this essay is to discern what qualities there is in his writings that make him stand out as a writer. Admittedly he has been known to copy and use themes created by other authors although he was the first to admit it. Instead of focusing on what he has borrowed from other writers I will look to the beginnings on the American literary tradition, the Puritan literary tradition, to what he has inherited from this tradition. bestowed with God´s grace. This gave rise to the Puritan Conversion narrative, a narrative in which the Puritan was supposed to profess their faith. However, the experience of New England made the narrative filled with doubt, selfloathing and feelings of desperation. It is this kind of narrative I will juxtapose with the style of Lovecraft to see how the Puritan Conversion Narrative has influenced his style. The reason for choosing this viewpoint is that Lovecraft himself lived in New England and situates all his stories there. He also writes about man´s experiences of god although Lovecraft´s god is nothing short of monstrous. In my comparison between Lovecrafts stories and the Puritan Conversion Narrative there are similarities regarding both form and content. Regarding form both are mostly in the form of a confession-like diary. Another similarity is the problem with accurate expressions when it comes to describing the experience of God. When it comes to content Lovecraft and Puritan Conversion Narrative share the fear of God, a problematic relationship with ones forefathers and the notion of New England as a corrupting force. These are just some of the things I discover in the essay and I think this shows that there is more to Lovecraft´s writing than most people think.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 21 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53670Local ID: ENG C-12OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53670DiVA: diva2:1102230
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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